Now that we are in the midst of the 2019 European Elections, several European Civil Society Organisations reflect on what the Parliament had achieved in the past 5 years, and to check up on the progress made against politicians’ promises and citizens’ demands.

The On Our Watch project brings together Civil Society Organisations working on all kinds of topics: from youth to poverty, from transparency to gender equality. Have a look below at all issues we have analysed so far – and contribute yourself! As a Civil Society Organisation, you can contribute by adding your analysis on your key topic(s). As an organisation or individual, you can contribute to the debate on the issues via our blog page. For both, contact us!

There are more than 7 million people with intellectual disabilities in Europe. They face many barriers when they want to participate in society, be included in the community and make their voices heard.

Intellectual Disabilities

Since 2014, civil society organisations have continued to call for a step change in how EU money is spent. In the lead-up to the mid-term review of the 7 year Multi-Annual Financial Framework (EU Budget), many civil society organisations worked with Committees in the European Parliament to expose the inadequate public oversight, unsustainable investments and policy inconsistencies in current EU budget.

Citizen-Centered Budget

The EU has a strong mandate to combat racism and related discrimination. The European Union Treaty includes equality and non-discrimination as core values for the EU. There is solid legislation at EU and national levels when it comes to combating racism. However some legislative gaps remain and structural barriers to proper implementation of these laws leave many European residents unprotected against discrimination.

Equality and Anti-racism

Following an inclusive process of gathering reform proposals on the future of the Common Agriculture Policy during one year from a wide range of NGOs and stakeholders, ARC2020 published the “Communication from civil society to the European Institutions on the future Agricultural and rural policy” which was signed by more than 150 organisations and published the same day at which the European Commission published its own reform proposals.

Good Farming

Despite some success, there is a long way to go for the European Parliament to truly stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business.

Tackling Excessive Lobbying

Representative democracy is based on interactions between citizens and decision makers. In this digital age, an absence of interaction between these players appears out-dated and unnecessary.

Citizen Involvement

The European Parliament has offered some support to young people as they fight for fair access to paid, quality internships. Many individual MEPs are enthusiastic defenders of youth employment rights. But progress is slow, and MEPs will need to make the issue a real priority for the rest of their mandate. We also deplore the fact that many MEPs still take unpaid interns in their offices.

Quality Internships

Though mental health is not a core competence of the European Union, the European Parliament decision making in the areas of social, disability, migratory and human rights policy are likely to have a direct impact on the wellbeing of millions of Europeans and on persons living with mental ill health and psychosocial disabilities.

Mental Health

Combatting climate change is one of the main challenges of our time. It is a core objective of the EU’s environmental policy, but also plays into many different policy areas ranging from energy and industrial policy to finance, migration and international cooperation. The decisions taken by MEPs today will determine the EU’s ability to cope with substantial ongoing challenges: achieving a socially just and clean energy transition, making the European economy sustainable and adhering to the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Climate and Energy

Education is not one of the core competences of the EU and so the role of the European Parliament and other EU institutions is mainly limited to supporting Member States through non-binding opinions and recommendations, bench-marking and the exchange of best practices. EU provides funding for education, most notably through the flagship Erasmus+ programme which is closely scrutinized by Members of the European Parliament. Having this in mind, here is the analysis of the Parliament’s progress on a selection of topics in the field of education.


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